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Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal

Mathieu Roy <yeupou@gnu.org> wrote:
> "Joe Moore" <joemoore@iegrec.org> a tapoté :
> > Mathieu Roy said:
> > > If you write a GFDLed document with OpenOffice, you must provide
> > > along with the OpenOffice version another version, in a preferred
> > > form for modification. It's an obligation you accept to follow
> > > when you decide to license under the GFDL a documentation.
> > 
> > This is not an excessive burden?  In order to release a GFDL'd document, I
> > have to learn how to create paragraph markup in a GFDL-sanctioned "preferred
> > format", rather than just clicking "Bold" in OpenOffice?  I have to learn
> > how to create tables in TeX, rather than letting LyX take care of that?
> I believe that OpenOffice can export a document into a text file,
> which is suitable for modification with a text editor.

This far from the preferred method for editing the file.  You lose
almost all of the formatting information.

> But in fact, OpenOffice format may be even considered as acceptable:
>         A "Transparent" copy of the Document means a machine-readable
>         copy, represented in a format whose specification is available
>         to the general public, that is suitable for revising the
>         document straightforwardly with generic text editors or (for
>         images composed of pixels) generic paint programs or (for
>         drawings) some widely available drawing editor, and that is
>         suitable for input to text formatters or for automatic
>         translation to a variety of formats suitable for input to text
>         formatters. A copy made in an otherwise Transparent file
>         format whose markup, or absence of markup, has been arranged
>         to thwart or discourage subsequent modification by readers is
>         not Transparent. An image format is not Transparent if used
>         for any substantial amount of text. A copy that is not
>         "Transparent" is called "Opaque". 
> Maybe we can consider that your OpenOffice file "is suitable for input
> to text formatters or for automatic translation to a variety of
> formats suitable for input to text formatters".

You missed the "and" before "is suitable for input ...".  It has to be
easy to modify with generic editors _and_ be suitable for automatic

> But basically, you are still looking for technical potential issues
> which, if you can legally confirm the issues, would be changed by the
> FSF because these potential issues are not on purpose.

You are complaining that if the FSF just fixed bugs XYZ in the
license, then Debian shouldn't have a problem.  Indeed, Debian
wouldn't.  However, I raised this particular example during the
drafting of GFDL 1.2.  They had plenty of time to clarify the issue
and fix the bug, but decided not to.  Even if they ever do aknowledge
the bug, I have serious doubts about how well they would fix it.
Especially considering how much they screwed up this time.

Walter Landry

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